NHS Health Check

Health and fitness trackers

If your NHS Health Check results have revealed issues that require special attention, there are plenty of web-based tools and apps to help you achieve your health goals.

From lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol to tackling obesity and lack of exercise, new technology is revolutionising the way you can manage and improve your health.

These tools work best when they let you share your goals, get advice and support, or simply engage with other like-minded people for extra motivation.

Wearable fitness gadgets

Wearable fitness devices are designed to automatically track your physical activity, sleep patterns, mood, and calorie intake, among others.

These gadgets, which come in the form of wristbands, watches and earphones, can be a good option – albeit at a cost – for inactive people who need motivation to raise their game.

But many other online tools and apps are free, easy to use and can be accessed using a smartphone, such as an Android or iPhone, or a basic home computer.

Laura St Quinton is the voice of NHS Couch to 5K, the audio plan that gets people running. She previously led on all NHS web and mobile apps development.

Laura explains how apps can help with good habit-forming: "Research tells us it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. Having an app in your pocket that provides regular nudges along the way is a huge help," she says.

Below is a selection of fun and engaging tools and apps that can help if you need to improve your numbers after your NHS Health Check.

Quit smoking

Smokefree

Smokefree is a quit smoking app with a difference. You'll get all the usual things you want from a quit smoking app, but with the added bonus of the option of sharing information about your cravings and how bad they were with scientists researching ways to help people quit smoking.

Price: Free

Available on iTunes

Lose weight

NHS weight loss plan

With more than three million downloads, "Losing weight – Getting started" has helped thousands of people with their weight loss goals. The 12-week plan combines calorie counting and exercise to help you lose weight safely and sustainably. The plan is delivered through 12 fun and motivating weight loss packs, which include a colourful food and activity log sheet. You can also get advice and support from the very active online Weight Loss community.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Choices

MyFitnessPal

When it comes to tracking your diet and exercise, MyFitnessPal is one of the biggest names around. With a database of more than two million food items, the platform makes it easy for users to keep track of calories and so much more. MyFitnessPal can be used with all diets, whether you're going low carb, high protein, or just trying to eat healthier.

Price: Free

Available on:

Improve your diet

One You Easy Meals

The One You Easy Meals recipes app is a great free way of helping everybody eat tasty healthier meals. Use it to search for easy calorie-counted recipes for breakfast, lunch, evening meals and puddings.

Keep track with the handy shopping list, which organises the ingredients you need by supermarket aisle, and learn more about being food smart and making healthier choices.

Price: Free

Calorie checker

Use the NHS Choices calorie checker to look up the calories of more than 150,000 different foods and drinks quickly and simply. The calorie checker's database lists the calorie and fat content of: 

  • generic foods
  • branded products
  • meals from around the world
  • alcoholic drinks
  • restaurant meals, including fast food chains

For quick access to the calorie checker on the go, save the page to your mobile device's home screen and use it just like an app.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Choices

Get more active

Couch to 5K running podcasts

The NHS Couch to 5K running plan has helped tens of thousands of people turn their dream of becoming a regular runner into a reality with its gradual approach. Couch to 5K is designed to get just about anyone off the sofa and running 5km in just nine weeks. The plan is delivered through a series of podcasts that can be downloaded to any mobile device, and is supported by the very active online Couch to 5K community.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Choices

Strength and Flex podcasts

The Strength and Flex plan is a five-week exercise programme delivered through five podcasts. The plan is a fun way of improving your strength and flexibility, and get you motivated to exercise regularly. If you're not very active, don't enjoy exercise, need a bit of a push, or you simply want a way to get fit again, then Strength and Flex is for you.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Choices

Fitocracy

A fitness app inspired by the video game world, Fitocracy makes exercise fun. Use the app to track your workouts, earn points, unlock achievements, beat quests, and slay the laziness dragon in you. When you join Fitocracy, you join a Facebook-style social network of supportive "Fitocrats" who will keep you motivated on your journey with daily inspiration and advice.

Price: Free

Available on:

Reduce your drinking

Alcohol unit calculators

To reduce the risk of harming your health, men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. Alcohol unit calculators let you check how much alcohol you're drinking and the number of calories you're putting away too.

Price: Free

Available on:

Page last reviewed: 01/05/2014

Next review due: 01/11/2016

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Couch to 5K

Regular running can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost your mood and keep your weight under control. In this video, watch how Laura went from fitness phobe to keen runner with the Couch to 5K programme.

Media last reviewed: 03/05/2016

Next review due: 03/05/2018

Weight loss guide

Lose weight the healthy way and learn the skills to keep it off with our 12-week weight loss guide

Health and fitness

Boost your health and fitness with fun and practical ideas to get active and improve your general health

Stop smoking

Help with quitting, including what your GP can do, local services and nicotine replacement therapies

Drinking and alcohol

Practical tips to help you cut down, plus information on low-risk drinking, how alcohol affects your health, and understanding units

Healthy eating

Information on how to achieve a balanced diet, tips to help you get your 5 A DAY, plus advice for vegetarians